H.R. 1105: Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009

H.R. 1105

Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009

Date
February 25, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On February 25, 2009, H.R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, will be considered on the floor, likely under a closed rule.  This legislation was introduced by Rep. Obey (D-WI) on February 23, 2009.  

Bill Summary

The Fiscal Year 2009 omnibus totals $410 billion spending bill and includes nine appropriation bills that were not passed by Congress last year (Agriculture, Commerce/State/Justice, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Department of Interior, Labor/HHS, Legislative Branch, Department of State/Foreign Ops, Transportation/HUD).  Funding for these government agencies and programs would increase by $32 billion, or 8.3%, over Fiscal Year 2008 (not including the funds appropriated by the recent "stimulus").  These agencies are currently funded at Fiscal Year 2008 levels through March 6, 2009, by a continuing resolution.  In addition to funding for these nine remaining appropriations bills, the bill also includes $100 million for salaries and expenses at the Department of Homeland Security, designated as an "emergency" to avoid budget restraints.  Three appropriations bills-Defense, Homeland Security, and Military Construction-VA-were passed and signed into law last year.

Division

FY 2008

H.R. 1105

$ Increase

% Increase

 

Agriculture

 

$18.093

 

$20.456

 

$2.363

 

13%

Commerce/State/

Justice

 

$51.803

 

$57.652

 

$5.849

 

11%

 

Energy and Water

 

$30.888

 

$33.261

 

$2.373

 

8%

 

Financial Services

 

$20.599

 

$22.697

 

$2.098

 

10%

 

Interior

 

$26.555

 

$27.579

 

$1.024

 

4%

 

Labor/HHS

 

$144.841

 

$152.255

 

$7.414

 

5%

 

Legislative Branch

 

$3.970

 

$4.402

 

$0.432

 

11%

Department of State/ Foreign Ops

 

$32.800

 

$36.620

 

$3.820

 

12%

 

Transportation/HUD

 

$48.821

 

$55.000

 

$6.179

 

13%

Total

$378.370

$409.922

$31.552

8.3%

Note:  1) Dollars are in billions.  2) The table's dollar and percent increases do not account for the billions in funding provided by the recent "stimulus" (see below), thus the real increases over Fiscal Year 2008 are many times greater when that legislation is considered.

The $32 billion increase represents the largest one-year hike in annual appropriated spending percentage since the Carter administration, with the exception of funding immediately after September 11th.  And since many of these programs and agencies received funding in the recent "stimulus," the combined increase is $301 billion or 80% over Fiscal Year 2008.   The highlights of the legislation are as follows:

SELECTION OF POSSIBLE MEMBER CONCERNS

DC School Vouchers:  Eliminates the District of Columbia (D.C.) school voucher program.  H.R. 1105 prohibits any new students from receiving vouchers and sunsets the program after the 2009-2010 school year.  While the bill eliminates $18 million for the successful school voucher program, it contains funding for countless other "priorities."

International Family Planning:  Provides $545 million for State Department to fund foreign family planning programs, funds that will flow to abortion providers now that the Mexico City Policy has been repealed by the Obama Administration.

UNFPA:  Contains language exempting federal funding for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) from the Kemp-Kasten provision, which denies federal funding to organizations or programs that support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

Healthcare Rationing:  Provides an additional $50 million-on top of the $1.1 billion included in the "stimulus"-to conduct "comparative effectiveness research" to evaluate the effectiveness of different preventative healthcare interventions.  Some Members may be concerned that the money for comparative effectiveness research could eventually be used for government rationing of health care goods and services, consistent with draft House Appropriations Committee report on the "stimulus" noting that "more expensive [treatments] will no longer be prescribed" as a result of such research.

Fairness Doctrine:  Removes a provision that prohibits funds from being used to implement the so-called "fairness doctrine," which requires the federal government to regulate and censor media content.

Nominal Drug Pricing:  Allows already funded family planning clinics (such as Planned Parenthood and university health clinics) to purchase drugs-including contraceptives-at a "nominal" price.  In effect, this provision allows Planned Parenthood to make considerable profits from selling birth control (including Plan B, i.e. the "morning-after pill") they receive at a significantly discounted rate and undersell private pharmacies.

Abstinence Education:  Reduces funding for the Community Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program to $95 million, a decrease of $13 million.  Conversely, the bill increases funding for Title X family planning programs by $7 million.

Benefits to Domestic Partnerships:  Although the bill maintains a ban on federal domestic partnership benefits, report language urges Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to "consider" federal health benefits for same-sex domestic partners of federal employees.

Census:  Provides $3.13 billion for the 2010 Census, which recently received $1 billion in additional "stimulus" money.

Cuba Travel Restrictions:  Narrows existing travel restrictions to Cuba, including lifting the "family travel" limitation to immediate family members and the "once every three years" travel limit.  In addition, the bill eliminates the "cash-in-advance" requirement for deliveries for agriculture or medical supplies. 

 Amtrak:  Includes $1.45 billion for Amtrak, a program that fails to be competitive and continues to need federal subsidies to cover operating losses and capital costs.  

 ACORN:  Provides $181 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation for housing counseling.  ACORN has been a past recipient of such funding.

 NEA:  Provides $155 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to the $50 million for the NEA provided in the "stimulus" bill.

Deficit Impact:  With the passage of the $1 trillion Democrat "stimulus" bill, the federal deficit will rise well above the record $1.2 trillion (or 8.3% of GDP) that CBO predicted at the beginning of 2009.  H.R. 1105 would unnecessarily add billions in deficit spending to the national debt.

SPENDING PROVISIONS

 Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA

  • Agriculture Department Buildings: Provides $244 million for USDA building repairs, an increase of $49 million. The "stimulus" also included $176 million for USDA building repairs.
  • Agriculture Research Service Buildings: Includes $47 million for ARS buildings and facilities. An additional $24 million was provided for this purpose in the recent "stimulus" bill.
  • Broadband Grants/Loan Subsidy: Provides $35 million for rural broadband grants/loan subsidies.
  • China Poultry: Prohibits USDA from moving forward with a rule to allow the import of poultry products from China.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): Provides $146 million, $34.7 million above 2008 level, for the CFTC to increase staff to regulate the commodity futures market.
  • Country of Origin Labeling: Implements a program requiring country of origin labeling for fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and other products. $9.6 million is provided for the Agricultural Marketing Service to administer these requirements.
  • Food and Drug Administration: Provides $2 billion for the FDA-an increase of $335 million.
  • Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): Provides $6.9 billion, an increase of $1.2 billion, for WIC.
  • Watershed Rehabilitation: Includes $40 million for watershed rehabilitation. The "stimulus" package provided $50 million for this purpose.

Commerce, Justice, and Science

  • Salmon Recovery: Provides $80 million for Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery.
  • JAG Grants: Provides $546 million for Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants. This spending comes after receiving $373.9 million in FY2008, and an additional $2 billion in the stimulus.
  • Byrne Grants: Contains $30 million for Byrne Competitive Grants.
  • Inauguration: Provides $20 million to reimburse State and local governments for costs associated with the 2009 Presidential inauguration.
  • Federal Grant Assistance: Provides $75 million for a program that assists organizations who want to apply for federal grants and receive more federal grant money.
  • Criminal Re-entry: Provides $25 million for offender re-entry programs authorized under the Second Chance Act.
  • cebreakers: Provides $54 million for polar icebreaking services.
  • COPS: Provides $550.5 million for Community Oriented Policing Services. This spending comes after COPS received $1 billion in the "stimulus."

Energy and Water Development

  • Energy Efficiency: Provides $1.9 billion for Department of Energy (DOE) for energy efficiency initiatives, including the purchase of one or two passenger vehicles.
  • Technology Loans: Contains $19.8 billion in Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, which is increased from $5.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2008.
  • Reliable Replacement Warhead: Prohibits funds from being used for the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW).
  • Regional Authorities: Includes $100 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and Denali Commission, which receive federal funding for regional programs.
  • Loon Research: Provides $300,000 for Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor the ability of lakes in west central Nevada lakes to support migratory loons.

 Financial Services

  • Inauguration: Provides $39 million to the District of Columbia to pay for the increased security for President Obama's Inauguration.
  • West Wing Computers: Includes $76 million for the White House West Wing Infrastructure Systems Replacement.

 Department of Interior

  • Cattle Studies: Provides $1.1 billion for "necessary expenses of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service", including scientific and economic studies, maintenance of the herd of long-horned cattle on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, general administration, etc.
  • Salmon River Habitat: Provides $5.1 million for the Idaho Salmon and Clearwater River Basins Habitat Account.
  • Migratory Bird Conservation: Provides $4.8 million to carry out the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
  • Species Conservation: Includes $10 million for the Multinational Species Conservative Fund.
  • Foot Bridge: Provides $3 million in funding to the St. Lois Metropolitan Park and Recreation Dept. for planning and constructing a foot bridge.
  • Greenhouse Gas Grants: Contains $10 million for grants to communities to develop plans and demonstrate and implement projects which reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Council on Environmental Quality: Contains $2.7 million for the Council on Environmental Quality.
  • Environmental Justice: Provides $7 million for "Environmental Justice" programs.

Labor and Health and Human Services

  • Workforce Spending: Provides $11.5 billion for workforce investment programs, including Employment Grants, spending from the Unemployment Trust Fund, and Job Corps.
  • Health Resources: Provides $7.24 billion for the Health Resources and Services Administration, including $1.89 billion under the Ryan White Act for AIDS treatment, and $815 million for state AIDS drug assistance programs;
  • CDC AIDS Prevention: Provides $6.28 billion for the Centers for Disease Control, for AIDS prevention and research.
  • NIH: Provides a total of $30.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health.
  • AmeriCorps: Contains $680 million for the Corporation for National and Community Service, including AmeriCorps.
  • Substance Abuse: Provides $3.33 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA);
  • AHRQ: Provides $372 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), including $50 million for comparative effectiveness research.
  • Child Care Block Grants: Provides $2.76 billion for the Administration for Children and Families, as well as $2.13 billion for the Child Care Block Grant.
  • Head Start: Provides $7.11 billion for Head Start.
  • Administration on Aging: Provides $1.49 billion for the Administration on Aging.
  • Title I: Provides $15.76 billion for Title I elementary and secondary education funding.
  • School Improvement: Provides $5.36 billion for school improvement programs.
  • IDEA: Provides $12.58 billion for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Rehabilitation Research: Provides $3.39 billion for rehabilitation services and disability research.
  • Pell Grants: Includes $19.16 billion for higher education programs, including $17.29 billion for Pell Grants-on top of the $15.6 billion in "stimulus" funding for 2009 and 2010-creating a maximum Pell Grant of $5,350.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Provides $430 million in a Fiscal Year 2011 advance appropriation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  • Migrant Housing: Includes $5.4 million for migrant and seasonal housing (of which not less than 70% shall be for permanent housing).
  • Mine Safety Trophies: Authorizes Mine Safety and Health Administration to use some of its $347 million allocation for "purchase and bestowal of certificates and trophies in connection with mine rescue and first-aid work."
  • National History Day Contest: Provides $500,000 for the National History Day contest.
  • Reading Rockets: Includes $737,000 for the "Reading Rockets" program produced by WETA television.
  • Erma Byrd Scholarship: Includes $1 million for the "Erma Byrd Scholarship" program for "increasing the skilled workforce for industrial health and safety occupations, including mine safety."

Legislative Branch

  • Capitol Visitor Center: Contains an additional $31 million for CVC construction.
  • Government Accountability Office: Provides $531 million for GAO to hire additional personnel. $25 million was also included in the recent "stimulus" bill for the GAO.
  • Greening the Capitol: Provides $1 million for making the Capitol more energy efficient.
  • Library of Congress: Contains $607 in funding for Library of Congress operations.
  • Tunnels: Provides $56 million to address "life safety hazards" in the Capitol complex tunnels.

 State/Foreign Operations

  • Afghanistan: Provides a total of $1 billion for assistance to Afghanistan.
  • Ireland Fund: Provides $15 million for the International Fund for Ireland.
  • Andean Counterdrug Program: Contains $315 million for the Andean Counterdrug Program.
  • Educational and Cultural Exchange: Provides $538 million for educational and cultural exchange expenses.
  • Energy and Environment: Contains $424 million for international "clean energy" and biodiversity programs which seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as deal with park preservation and wildlife protection. Also, the International Panel on Climate Change/UN Framework on Climate Change is funded at $8 million, 46.7% above FY 2008 enacted level.
  • International Organizations: Provides $1.5 billion for membership fees for international organizations, including the United Nations.
  • Foreign Military Financing Program: Includes $2.38 billion in funding for Israel and $1.3 billion in for Egypt.
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation: Contains $875 million for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)-$1.35 billion below the President's request and $669 million below Fiscal Year 2008.
  • Peacekeeping: Provides $1.5 billion in contributions for international peacekeeping activities. The bill also raises the cap on contributions to UN peacekeeping from 25% to 27.1% for calendar years 2005 through 2009.
  • USAID: Provides $808.5 million, $178 million more than last year, for the U.S. Agency for International Development to hire 300 additional Foreign Service officers.

 Transportation/HUD

  • Amtrak: Includes $1.45 billion for Amtrak, a program that fails to be competitive and continues to need federal subsidies to cover operating losses and capital costs.
  • Highways: Includes $40.7 billion for the federal-aid highways program, $483.9 million over Fiscal Year 2008.
  • Community Development: Provides $3.9 billion for the Community Development Fund, including $3.6 billion for Community Development Block Grants and $19.5 million for Neighborhood Initiatives Programs.
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation: Provides $181 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation for housing counseling. ACORN has been a past recipient of such funding.
  • HUD: Provides $41.5 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, an increase of $3.9 billon or 10.4% over Fiscal Year 2008.

 EARMARKS

 The Joint Explanatory Statements accompanying the bill contains thousands of earmarks, including:

 Commerce, Justice, and Science

  • $1 million to research red snapper in Florida.
  • $100,000 for the Seals as Sentinels program in Maine.
  • $7.1 million for the recovery of Hawaiian sea turtle populations.
  • $445,000 to map the Hudson River to "build resiliency to climate change."
  • $900,000 for planetarium equipment in Chicago.
  • $2 million for the promotion of astronomy in Hawaii.

 Energy and Water

  • $951,500 for an anti-idling lithium ion battery program in California.
  • $4.8 million for a Center of Nanoscale Energy in North Dakota.
  • $142,000 for a Las Vegas plug-in hybrid vehicle program.
  • $1.4 million for energy efficient street lighting in Detroit.
  • $475,750 for energy production through anaerobic digestion in New Jersey.
  • $713,000 for "intelligent facades for high performance green buildings" in New York.
  • $2.4 million for a National Wind Energy Center in Texas.
  • $951,000 for a sapphire algae to fuel demonstration project in New Mexico.

Financial Services

  • $122,000 for the Greater Toledo Arts Commission Creative Industry Development.
  • $285,000 for Native Hawaiians Organizations Association entrepreneurial development.

 Interior/Environment:

  • $250,000 for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout management in Nevada.
  • $800,000 for a fish passage in Washington.
  • $500,000 for a Native Hawaiian Culture & Arts program.
  • $5 million for San Francisco Bay restoration grants.
  • $15 million for California emission reduction grants.
  • $300,000 for "Greenstreets" in Chicago.
  • $2.7 million for the Wood Education and Resource Center in West Virginia.

 Transportation/HUD:

  • $332,500 for Bronx Zoo Intermodal Transportation Facility (Bronx, NY).  
  • $475,000 for hybrid buses in Guam. 
  • $190,000 for trolley purchase in Puerto Rico.  
  • $45 million for Streetcar Loop grants in Portland, Oregon.  
  • $760,000 for a "noise wall" along I-520 in Augusta, Georgia.
  • $712,500 for a "Package Delivery Demonstration Project" in NY.
  • $950,000 for a bike path in Wisconsin.
  • $950,000 for ballast water research in Wisconsin.
  • $1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach Water Taxi Service Project in Connecticut.
  • $380,000 for restoration and renovation of Maine lighthouse.
  • $475,000 for the "elimination of blight" in Highland Park, Michigan.
  • $142,500 for the purchase of foreclosed properties in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • $950,000 for a National Council of La Raza loan fund for "community development activities."

 Labor/HHS

  • $143,000 for Nevada Humanities "to develop and expand a comprehensive online encyclopedia."
  • $381,000 to Utah Department of Health for "health education and screening for citizens exposed to uranium mill tailings.
  • $167,000 to the (Gene) Autry National Center for the American West.
  • $8.7 million to the Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners program.
  • $5.8 million for a Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate at the University of Massachusetts.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is not yet available, however, the legislation would appropriate $410 billion to fund nine appropriations bills from March 6, 2009, through September 30, 2009.